Chi chi chi chi changes

By RUDY CHEEKS  |  March 30, 2011

Melvin Sparks, 64, was one of the greatest session guitarists of all time. A master of funk, soul, and jazz, he hailed from Houston and was playing with Hank Ballard and the Midnighters while still in high school. He was also an early member of the Little Richard's legendary backup band, the Upsetters (a fella named Jimi Hendrix briefly filled that chair a few years later). He played on tons of records and always kicked ass.

Ricky Leacock, 89, was one of the creative forces behind cinéma vérité, an intimate style of camerawork that permeated the 1960s. Along with his colleagues, the better-known D.A. Pennebaker and the Maysles brothers, Leacock worked triple duty as cameraman, editor, and director on some of the greatest and most influential documentaries ever, including Primary (1960) and Monterey Pop (1968). He also taught for many years at MIT, where he influenced a new generation of filmmakers.


KUDOS AND CONGRATS . . .

. . . to old friend and former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy on his impending nuptials to Amy Petitgout. I have been extremely fond of Patrick since I first met him back when he was a mere teen serving in the state legislature. He is a man with a big heart and despite all his ups and downs, I believe that his greatest contributions are ahead of him as a non-governmental agent of change, tackling issues in the field he knows so well — mental health.

Send April showers and Pulitzer-grade tips to rudycheeks@live.com.

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